Friday, 17 June 2011

From Pretty to Awesome

While travelling we have seen some sights as regular readers on the blog will attest.  You won't be surprised to know that we have said "isn't that pretty" (and variations such as beautiful, cute, gorgeous etc) 12152 times (est).  But today we went beyond that.  While we have been on top of the world before in Austria the experience of being at the Matterhorn in Switzerland has been, in Meryl's words, AWESOME.  The Matterhorn was first climbed in 1865.  Tragically four of the seven who climbed it died on the way down.  There was much controversy as some suggested that one of the surviving three had cut the rope which joined them sending the four to their deaths. (a story which I read as a young boy!) 

We visited the Museum of Zermatt, the little (and very expensive) village which exists for people visiting the Matterhorn, which has the actual rope.  Since the Matterhorn was first climbed many have climbed it including a guide who had been up 360 times the last at the age of 90 but 500 have died in the attempt.

We have again been blessed by the weather.  Yesterday we went up to Gornergrat on the cog railway.  It is at 10200ft/3089m. (Kosciuszko is 2228m) so the view is pretty good!!  We have not been able to see all of the Matterhorn at one time as there has been some cloud on it at all times but we have seen most of it including the peak as it peaked through the clouds on a few occasions.  The mountains at this height are covered in snow all year round and there is plenty there now.  It is vibrantly white and a wonder to look at.

Today we went up a lower railway and went for a lovely walk around the hills seeing several lakes with different hues of green and blue.  Almost the entire 4 hour walk was in sight of the Matterhorn.  We looked over frequently in the hope that the lingering cloud would move on.  Unfortunately it did not but that did not stop us taking 436 (est) photos in our attempt to capture the stunning sight.  When we were not distracted by the Matterhorn we were able to enjoy the other 28 peaks over 4000m which are in the area and many were completely free of cloud for much of the day. 

In my view it is very difficult to beat snow covered mountains surrounded by blue skies as a sightseeing treat and we saw plently of those today.